Is your child up to date on vaccinations?
With classes getting back in session soon, it’s important to stay on track with preventive doctor’s appointments for your child to help ensure a healthy school year.
Appointments with your pediatrician are essential to help maintain your child’s health and ensure your child is growing and developing as expected. Identifying any concerns early can help connect your child with the resources needed to help ensure a successful transition back to school.
Checking in with your child’s doctor also helps to ensure your child is protected from vaccine preventable diseases. For the second year in a row, national vaccination rates are down for some age groups — which can be alarming when recent outbreaks of infectious diseases, like measles, have been reported in recent years.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is urging those who are behind to get caught up on needed vaccinations, including COVID-19 vaccines, if you haven’t already.
Childhood vaccines help prevent serious illness, including, but not limited to:
- Mumps, measles and rubella (MMR)
These three viruses are highly contagious and may lead to serious, long-term health issues. The CDC recommends children get two doses of the MMR vaccine, which protects against all three viruses. The first dose is typically given between 12 and 15 months of age and the second between 4 and 6 years old.
This can be a deadly disease caused by a virus that infects a person’s brain and spinal cord causing paralysis. It’s recommended that children get four doses of the polio vaccine, starting at 2 months old, 4 months old, 6-18 months old and between 4 and 6 years old.
This disease is common among young kids and older adults. CDC recommends the pneumococcal vaccination for all children younger than 2 years old.
This is a serious infection which affects the lining of the brain and spinal cord. The first dose is recommended for before your child enters high school and the second around the age of 18.
- Whooping cough
Also known as pertussis, whooping cough is a respiratory disease caused by bacteria. There are two types of vaccines to help protect against this disease – DTap is recommended for children younger than 7 years old and Tdap for older children and adults. Dtap and Tdap also prevent against serious diseases of diphtheria and tetanus.
This contagious disease is caused by the varicella-zoster virus (VZV). The CDC recommends two doses of the chickenpox vaccine – the first dose between 12 and 15 months old and the second between 4 and 6 years old.
- Hepatitis A and B
There are several hepatitis infection variations, which are all caused by different viruses that attack the liver, which may cause serious lifelong complications. The CDC recommends children get two doses of the hepatitis A vaccine — one dose between 12 and 23 months of age and the second at least 6 months after the first dose. The hepatitis B vaccine is given in a series of shots with the first dose given at birth and the rest completed by 6 months.
The flu is a respiratory virus with symptoms that may range from mild to severe. The CDC recommends that everyone 6 months of age and older get the vaccine ever year.
- COVID-19 vaccines
The CDC recommends children 6 months of age and up receive an updated COVID-19 vaccine.
This virus can cause severe diarrhea and vomiting in infants and young children. Children can become dehydrated and need to be hospitalized. The CDC recommends children get vaccinated against rotavirus before they turn 8 months old. There are two vaccines currently licensed for infants in the U.S. – one is a series of three doses given at 2 months, 4 months and 6 months, the other is two doses at 2 months and 4 months. Both vaccinations are given orally.
- Hib (Haemophilus influenzae type b)
Hib disease is any kind of infection caused by Haemophilus influenzae bacteria. Some illnesses, like ear infections, can be mild, but others, like bloodstream infections can be very serious. Hib can cause severe infections in the lining of the brain and spinal cord and bloodstream. The CDC recommends all children under 5 get vaccinated against Hib.
- Human Papillomavirus HPV
HPV is a common virus that can lead to certain types of cancer later in life. The CDC recommends children between the ages of 11-12 should get two doses of the HPV vaccine, which is given 6 to 12 months apart. HPV vaccines can be given starting at 9 years old.
Check the CDC’s immunization schedule for a full list of recommended vaccinations to help ensure your child is up to date.
Get an age-specific care checklist for you or your child, including needed vaccinations.